Before the Angelus
After the Angelus
At midday today, the Holy Father Francis appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered in Saint Peter’s Square.
The following is the Pope’s introduction to the Marian prayer:
Before the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
As on the feast of the Epiphany and that of Jesus’ Baptism, today’s Gospel reading (cf. Jn 1: 35-42) also proposes the theme of the manifestation of the Lord. This time it is John the Baptist who indicates Him to his disciples as “the Lamb of God” (v. 36), thus inviting them to follow Him. And so it is for us: He whom we contemplated in the mystery of Christmas, we are now called to follow in daily life. Today’s Gospel, therefore, introduces us perfectly to the Ordinary Liturgical Time, a time that serves to inspire and confirm our journey of faith in our normal life, in a dynamic that moves between epiphany and following, between manifestation and vocation.
The Gospel account indicates the essential characteristics of the itinerary of faith. There is an itinerary of faith, and this is the itinerary for disciples of all times, including ours, beginning with the question Jesus addresses to the two who, urged by the Baptist, start to follow Him: “What do you seek?” (v. 38). It is the same question that, on Easter morning, the Risen One asks Mary Magdalene: “Woman, whom do you seek?” (Jn 20: 15). Each one of us, as a human being, is seeking: seeking happiness, seeking love, a good and full life. God the Father has given us all this in His Son Jesus.
Fundamental in this search is the role of a true witness, of a person who has made the journey first and has encountered the Lord. In the Gospel, John the Baptist is this witness. Therefore he is able to guide the disciples to Jesus, Who involves them in a new experience, saying: “Come and you will see” (v. 39). And those two will never be able to forget the beauty of that encounter, to the extent that the Evangelist even notes the hour: “it was about four o’clock in the afternoon” (Ibid.). Only a personal encounter with Jesus generates a path of faith and of discipleship. We can have many experiences, do many things, establish relations with many persons, but only the meeting with Jesus, in the hour that God knows, can give full meaning to our life and make our plans and our initiatives fruitful.
It is not enough to build for oneself an image of God based on what one has heard said; it is necessary to go to seek the divine Master and to go where He dwells. The two disciples’ request to Jesus: “Where are you staying?” (v. 38), has an intense spiritual meaning: it expresses the desire to know where the Master dwells, to be able to be with Him. The life of faith consists in the desire to be with the Lord and, therefore, in a continuous search of the place where He dwells. This means that we are called to overcome a habitual religiosity taken for granted, reviving the encounter with Jesus in prayer, in meditation on the Word of God and in partaking in the Sacraments, to be with Him and bear fruit thanks to Him, to His help and His grace.
To seek Jesus, to encounter Jesus, to follow Jesus: this is the way – to seek Jesus, to encounter Jesus, to follow Jesus.
May the Virgin Mary sustain us in this resolution to follow Jesus, to go and stay where He dwells, to listen to His Word of life, to adhere to Him, He who takes away the sin of the world, to rediscover in Him hope and spiritual zeal.
After the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters,
The World Day of Migrants and Refugees is observed today. This morning I celebrated Mass with a large group of migrants and refugees residing in the diocese of Rome. In my Message for this Day, I emphasized that the migrations are today a sign of the times.
“Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, Who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age (cf. Mt 25:35-43). … In this regard, I wish to reaffirm that our shared response may be articulated by four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate”. For pastoral reasons, the World Day of Migrants and Refugees shall henceforth be celebrated on the second Sunday of September. The next one, that is, the 105th, will be held on Sunday 8 September 2019.
Tomorrow I will travel to Chile and Peru. I ask you to accompany me with prayer on this Apostolic Journey.
I greet you all, Romans and pilgrims: families, parish groups and Associations.
A special greeting goes to the Latin American community of Santa Lucia in Rome, which celebrates 25 years since its foundation. On this happy anniversary, I pray to the Lord to fill you with blessings, so that you may continue to give witness of your faith in the midst of the difficulties, joys, sacrifices, and hopes of your migratory experience. Thank you.
And I wish you all a happy Sunday. I remind you, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye.